A Personal Note from Tom

What if our church closed its doors?

What if our church closed its doors, would the Paxton area miss our congregation? Would it even notice that we were gone? These are certainly thought-provoking questions. Of course, we certainly have no plans of closing our church. But are we having an impact on our community? Are we reaching out to those who need Jesus and His forgiveness?

It is easy for a church to become like a social club, meeting weekly for the good of its members. However, Jesus wants His church to be more than a meeting place. When He came to earth that first Christmas, He came with a mission—“to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) While Jesus did many other things during His ministry, His focus was always upon bringing lost people into a saving relationship with God. His ministry of healing, teaching, and serving pointed people to their need for a Savior.

Now we, as Jesus’ disciples today, are to be continuing His ministry of seeking and saving people who are spiritually lost. In Luke 15 He told three stories about lostness—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. We are to be the shepherd desperately seeking his lost lamb, the woman passionately looking for her lost coin, and the father lovingly longing for his lost son’s return. But we cannot accomplish these purposes if we limit our ministry inside the four walls of our church building.

There may have been the day when people would on their own come to church, recognizing that they needed Jesus. But that’s not today! Instead, we need to go out into the community and reach out to those who need Jesus. Our ministry’s focus needs to change from what we do for ourselves in our church building to what we do for others out in the community.

I know that we have been putting a lot of emphasis on inviting others to come worship with us on Sundays. And I hope that you will take advantage of the holidays and invite unchurched friends and family to join us. But we’ll never impact our community for Christ just inviting people to come; we have to go out and minister to people in His name. That is our vision as a congregation—to be disciples of Jesus who lovingly connect others with Him.

The truth is the future of the Paxton Church of Christ is dependent upon our outreach into the Paxton area and its people. If the focus of our ministry doesn’t align itself with the focus on Jesus’ ministry, one day we will close our doors and the community won’t care.